QSL LoTW but not via bureau

Dear All

I received an envelope with QSL cards from the RSGB Bureau this week. After careful consideration I have decided at the end of this year to ask my bureau manger to re-cycle any bureau cards received after 31/12/2020.

Most of the QSL cards I get via the bureau these days are from SOTA contacts either as a chaser or activator. I have decided to stop collecting these.

All my contacts are QSL’d via Logbook of the World, or direct if the sender sends me the return postage cost of $2.

Postage costs are escalating year on year - now just to send 8 jiffy bags for incoming cards to my RSGB Bureau Manager now costs over £3. The cards I get through the Bureau generally end up hidden away in drawers with the 1000s I have collected over nearly 40 years.

Thank to all those SOTAists who have sent cards in the past - any sent after the next few months will be disposed of by my RSGB Bureau Manager on my instructions.

73 Phil G4OBK


Hi Phil,

I took the same decision a few years back. My attic was full of boxes of unwanted and unlooked at qsl cards. Especially after contests I would receive hundreds of cards from the qsl machines who insisted on qsling that 20m cw qso for the 6th time that year and the 60th time in 10 years (maybe a bit of poetic license there but you know what I mean).When I got on 6m it got even worse with some stations working me on every opening of the season, same band,same mode and sending a buro card. This really needs to stop. Now as stated clearly on my qrz.com page all buro cards received go straight to recycling unlooked at. I qsl via LOTW and of course for SOTA all activations are uploaded to the database so qsl’s are unnecessary. If somebody really wants a card I will always reply directly and immediately. I only collect cards myself for the 6m and 160m bands and should the DX operator not use LOTW or OQRS I am happy to send my card directly and cover the return costs.
I know lots of folk still hang on to the saying “the final courtesy of a qso is a qsl” but for me the final courtesy would be not to generate the unwanted carbon footprint




I only QSL direct. I reckon if someone goes to the trouble to send me a card direct in the mail, my returning one to him (or her) is obviously sought after and I will reply direct. I can send cards out through the RSGB (being a member) but cant receive cards via the German Bureau as I am not a member of the DARC. So it’s best for me to note on qrz dot com that I don’t use any bureau.

Cards that I do receive direct, get scanned in and added to a small (8") auto display - the kind you might see on a company’s reception desk displaying information. So I can have a slideshow running there displaying my received QSL cards. Then the paper original gets filed in a box.

73 Ed.

I don’t use LoTW (even though I have an ID). I do occasionaly check eQSL (which is how I seem to get SWL cards).


This remided me another zombie thread, so let me resurrect it here:

Hi Phil,

Couple of mine QSL cards are on way via bureau.
You do not need to answer them.

I will stop sending from now on.
Wish you all the best and hope to see you again in better time.

73, Jarek

Very good Jarek - if they arrive before the year end I will return the courtesy via the bureau. Not a problem. In fact, no worry as I’ll make a note and add any band slots confirmations we have had to my returns to this latest batch of cards just in case yours don’t arrive in time. I still have around 1000 cards in hand for my G and GM Calls. I lived or spent a fair amount of my life in Scotland for a time around 1989/1990 and from 1999-2002 and had home based stations there then.

Worthy comments noted from Guru, Declan and Ed.

73 Phil G4OBK

Hi Jarek @SP9MA
Like you signing your call ( SP9MA/P) on all of your activation’s I send to eQSL mine when I worked you !

That is a part of you numerous activities ! :wink:
In bold is manual entry …

Always I got no response but got many with a call SP9MA same if your OK/P or OE/P :joy: They don’t match with mine because of the call !

Please send your /P log with your /P call, please Jarek. If no I have to rewrite all my entries each time … :roll_eyes:

Like Roger @F5LKW said In another thread you will got a lot of QSL’s !
Truly Éric - F5JKK

Hi Eric,

Thank you for your active chasing me.
I know this issue but it is not workable for me - I already explained in that Roger’s topic.
I would check on eqsl my waiting cards but to get those cards I still need to register the account.
To make it successful I need to register 18 foreign /P accounts and 1 domestic SP9MA/P
I do hope you understand that it is too difficult.
For cards changing I do preffer paper QSL via bureau - I answer to 100% of them.

73, Jarek

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Hi friends
I use eQSL for a long time and take the way to create a account for each activities.
I’m activator, and I share à part of my paradise. :crazy_face:

Few days ago, i install log4om on my computer (yes until now only paper log).
I will synchro with LOTW soon

And I prefer paper QSL. I have been licensed 34 years ago and I’m always enjoy to receive cards but too much work
Then GLOBAL QSL is a real good deal.
You create ur cards as you wish and they send these.

73 Roger

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Well done Phil!

I took the same decision past year, no bureau traffic and only a few QSL cards that I really am interested, same as a DX spot or a great expedition, I will pay for direct shipping.

We are in XXI century and no time and no space to pile up a tones of cards.

Specially the people who loves mountains as us, we must realize about ecology.

Ecology and save natural resources is not only for paper of the cards, but also transport of the parcels around the world.


I have a few of my special S2S DX qsl cards I swapped with the other SOTA operators but I have not encouraged QSL ing for some years. Like everyone else I have a few boxes of then collecting dust and spiders too. Don’t do any form of electronic QSL and on my QRZ page is a request not to send me QSL cards thanks all the same. Don’t know how many thousands I sent out over 40 years in the hobby but lucky every one who got a card from me did not respond otherwise my shoe boxes full would be many more.
QSL 100 % statistically is not that true thankfully HI.
vk5cz …

Hi ALL! I love paper QSLs and I answer 100% via bureau or mail if they send me this way.
I honestly don´t like or care about eQSL or LoTW. I´m a member of JARL (Japan Amateur Radio League) and for this reason I can send via bureau to the different members adhering to the international bureau (DARC, URE, ARRL, ARI, etc. etc)
One of the reasons that I send several QSLs to the same person is because each activation is a different Grid Locator or simply a new JCC-JCG (Japan Cities-Japan Villages) and there are many pursuing these certificates beyond SOTA.
Now reading this thread I have the ¨obligation¨ to search QRZ for those who are not members of the bureau or those who do not want paper QSLs and thus not cause discomfort such as not wasting my cards. Also I don´t force them to answer me for each activation, that would be CRAZY and a nonsense waste of time/cards/money!!! Simply having a single confirmation (maybe the first QSO)I would be happy.
73/88 de JP3PPL

I admire people who produce wonderfully artistic QSL cards and fully understand why people like to send and receive them.

With many years of DXing and contesting I have received a LOT of qsl’s and diligently replied to them all to the best of my abilities. I must admit since I have laid off the contesting and taken up SOTA instead, the full bore flood of cards has reduced to a trickle and I am happy with that.

However a couple of years ago I looked at my for ever growing pile of shoe boxes full of these wonderful cards that I would never revisit and I sent all of them, over 120kg to the recycling. Now when I get cards I look at them, enjoy them, reply to them and then they regretfully get binned.

I do ask only send a card if you want a reply other wise please do not send one. I could never deny people to send me a card if that is their desire and I feel a bit rude saying please don’t but sometimes things just have to be said honestly.


Ge John all that card printing and buying shoes to have boxes to put your cards in can be a vicious circle to get caught up in. Few popular brands in that lot, is your SOTA Hiking Shoe box in use.

Hee hee. The green one on the bottom right looks like a hiking boot box but most of the rest I actually went to a shoe shop and asked for empty shoe boxes. They were only too happy to oblige. Yes a lot of printing and a lot of time spent sending replies. It used to really bother me as I reckon in many cases I spent longer QSLing than making the QSO. Which is kind of like the tail wagging the dog.

It seems I am not on my own having been DXing and Contesting for several decades before the fanaticsm was pertially replaced by SOTA - few contests these days but I still chase DX when it is there. Always wanting to work new band slots and FT8 is helping the DX cause in my case. I have no problem enjoying boosting my scores using it…

I keep a single DXCC QSL by band and then in alphabetical order, 160m - 2m in these plastic boxes which suit perfectly the QSL card size - these are the cards that have been accepted by ARRL for the DXCC Challenge. The 3 plastic boxes with clip on lids I got from Great Mill DIY Store in Dumfries in 1999:

I’ve run out of space in my wooden three wooden QSL cabinets now, so any that aren’t G QSOs have been going into shoeboxes or suitably sized cardboard boxes, randomly and not filed. The majority of QSLs I have received though are filed by band again, alpabetically and go into these pine drawers, that were purchased at the same Great Mills DIY store in Dumfries in 1999. I varnished the bare pine cabinets and drawers when I found them, what a find at the time! They must have been designed for radio hams or collectors of postcards as they are perfect for storing QSL cards in - I have three cabinets full of cards for my G callsign alone. The cabinets were a great find in Great Mills - which was a marvellous DIY store until its demise not long after the millenium.

73 Phil G4OBK


I store my QSL collection here:


Takes up less space! Or it would do if I didn’t keep the actual physical cards as well - which I currently do. Not the full collection is on the website. All SOTA QSL cards are on there, plus at least one from each DXCC, plus most of my broadcast & utility station QSLs.

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I do like receiving QSL cards, though once I have a card from an activator I’m happy with that, no real need to receive cards for every activation.

I have cards separated into boxes for my previous Foundation and Intermediate call signs. Must be an OCD thing as I always keep them in Country order :neutral_face:

I often wonder what my lad would do with all my QSL cards should anything happen to me. Green recycle bin is favourite.

73 Chris M0RSF

Sorry for drifting off topic.
In Spain, the green is for the organic waste and the one for paper, plastic, metal is yellow. However, there’s also the specific for paper and cardboard only which is dark blue, if I’m not wrong. The one for the glass is green too but with a different shape.
There should be a worldwide standard for all these bins colours, shapes and uses.


In the UK Guru it is a complete “dog’s breakfast” is rubbish. No national fixed guidance. So in my district the Green wheeled bin is for kitchen waste, general unrecyclable rubbish etc. But 50 Km away nearer the city of York where my mother in law lives (currently self isolating with us) the Green Wheeled bin does the same as yours, for organic waste.

Here we have a brown wheeled bin for organic and garden waste - we need two due to having a sizable garden. You pay the Council extra for these - £38 a year each - whereas in York they are free and part of the Council Tax we all pay, but they have a Grey bin for kitchen waste and unrecyclable rubbish

In Cardiff Wales, where daughter lives they have other ideas. Its more complicated still and they have a small grey lidded box for food waste - ie what you cook maybe but don’t eat for your dinner. We don’t have anything like that here - if it gets cooked it gets eaten!

We are drifting way off topic with this one now… (hee hee).

73 Phil